Population

Demographics may decide the U.S-China rivalry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While embroiled in the most vivid display of great power rivalry since the Cold War, the U.S. and China are both also battling a largely invisible force — relentlessly unfavorable demographics that are sapping their long-term economic vitality.

Driving the news: As we have reported, the global population as a whole is aging and shrinking, but the trend is striking China especially hard just as it challenges the U.S. for long-term global primacy, according to experts and a number of recent reports.

Global population growth will begin to plateau by the end of the century

A giant replica of the earth floating in a cathedral.
A replica of Earth hangs on display inside Liverpool Cathedral. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Global population growth is expected to drastically slow by 2100, according to new data from the UN Population Division.

Why it matters: As Axios has previously reported, population growth is key to maintaining demand for housing, filling jobs yet to be automated, and paying into pension systems pressed by demographic realities and slowing economic growth — among other things.